A line of students at Timberwood Middle School wrapped around the library in anticipation of getting their books signed by children’s author James Ponti.
The Texas Bluebonnet award winner spent the whole day visiting with students at TMS. Ponti is no stranger to Humble ISD and has previously been a guest author at the Humble ISD Children’s Literature Festival. When the school selected to read his book “FRAMED!” for the campus-wide reading campaign, he was excited to make a stop during his book tour.
“We asked our parents to donate copies of the book to the campus for students who were not able to purchase their own,” Sue White, TMS Librarian said. “Some parents purchased four or five books for the One School, One Book Campaign and each student was provided the opportunity to read Mr. Ponti’s book.” The 82 students who were able to donate books to the campus got the opportunity to have a special lunch with the author.
This spring the additional “FRAMED!” books collected will be shipped to Korea. Students in the World Changers and Cultural Exchange clubs will get the opportunity to discuss the book via Skype.
During the visit, Ponti spoke with each grade level and also took time to meet with a small group of the schools avid readers to discuss his writing practices and how he develops his book characters. The visit was a first for Ponti because he had never visited a campus where all the teachers and students were reading his book.
The author got his start writing for popular animated television shows on both Disney and Nickelodeon. His scriptwriting was successful so he started writing short books. He encouraged the students to keep reading until they found books they liked.
“I started out as a reluctant reader and now I’m a writer,” Ponti said. “If you don’t like my book, find a book out there you do like. I just want you to keep reading.”
The Dead City series author also shared the inspiration for his latest book “FRAMED!”, answered questions about creating characters based on his real life, and discussed his methods for researching the places he writes about in his books.
“Vanished” is the title of the second book in the series. It is scheduled to hit bookshelves in August but TMS students were able to hear the first chapter during the authors visit.
When he is not working Ponti loves to spend time with his family, travel, and come up with new characters for his books. Currently he is working on the third book in the mystery series.
For more information about James Ponti and his books, visit www.jamesponti.com.